IFBA Year in Review 2017

Ten years ago our CEOs came together to publicly commit their support for the 2004 WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, pledging to take action in areas recognized by the WHO and public health community as crucial to improving global health – product formulation, nutrition information, responsible marketing practices and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

Over time, we have expanded and strengthened our commitments to meet evolving health and wellbeing needs and encouraged others to follow our lead.

As we celebrate our tenth anniversary this year, we take a moment to look back at some of our achievements in 2017.

Making progress on our commitments

Continued to improve the nutrition of our products with the goal of helping consumers eat healthy, balanced diets – reducing key nutrients of public health concern, such as salt, sugar and fat, and increasing food components that are key to a healthy diet, such as whole grains, fibre, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy.

Delivered billions of servings of micronutrient-fortified foods and beverages.

Offered consumers more choices to help them manage their calories with lower- and no-sugar options and small or reduced portion sizes.

Implemented a common global approach to nutrition labelling on-pack and at point-of-sale, including providing calories front-of-pack.

Continued our work to strengthen regional and national responsible marketing pledges with common nutrition criteria to determine what foods may be advertised to children under 12 years with the launch of a renewed pledge with local companies in Turkey.

Conducted outreach missions and provided support to local food and beverage manufacturers and associations in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand on efforts to adopt responsible marketing pledges to children based on the core tenets of IFBA’s global policy.

Partnered with governments and civil society around the world to promote nutrition education and healthy lifestyles.

Expanding our support for government strategies to improve public health

Brazil: In May, we launched the “National Movement for Health and Wellbeing,” in collaboration with Ambev, in support of the Government of Brazil’s National Plan for Food and Nutrition Security.
The initiative is designed to generate a collective impact by uniting individual company efforts to promote healthy lifestyles in a single initiative aligned with the government’s agenda.

Mexico: In September, we delivered a public commitment to José Narro Robles, Secretary of Health, in support of the government’s National Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Overweight and Obesity. Under this “Carta Compromisos de las Empresas con la Salud de los Mexicanos” (a Charter for the Health of Mexicans), IFBA companies pledged to implement a set of actions on product formulation, nutrition information, marketing to children and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

Latin America and the Caribbean: In October, in response to the WHO call for action to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030, contained in the Montevideo Roadmap 2018- 2030 on NCDs as a Sustainable Development Priority, we publicly reiterated our commitment to take joint measures to help improve the diet and health of the populations of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Raising awareness

We presented or participated in a variety of events, providing information on IFBA’s work globally and reiterating our commitment to work in collaboration with all stakeholders to achieve global health:

Geneva: In May, at a side event organized by the Global Health Centre of the Graduate Institute and the NCD Alliance during the World Health Assembly, on “Governing NCDs: Addressing the Commercial Determinants of Health.”

Geneva: In May, at a consultation convened by the EU Delegation for non-State actors, in advance of the Seventieth World Health Assembly.

Rome: In May/June, at the Private Sector Mechanism Annual General Meeting and Partnership Forum and the UN Committee for World Security Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on Nutrition.

Stockholm: In June, in a panel discussion during the EAT Stockholm Food Forum, on “When and how can the private sector engage with governments in real commitments on nutrition to beat NCDs?”

New York City: In July, at the Agriculture and Food Day of the UN Committee on World Food Security, organized by the International Agri-Food Network on the margins of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

New York City: In October, at a meeting organized by GAIN, USCIB and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on “Advancing Public-Private Partnerships to Achieve the Global Nutrition Goals.”

Riyadh: In November, at the Saudi Food and Drug Authority’s first annual conference on scientific and regulatory developments in food and medicine.

Abu Dhabi: In December, at the first Abu Dhabi Childhood Obesity Forum, organized by MEED in partnership with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, and supported by the Abu Dhabi Task Force on Childhood Obesity.

Ongoing participation in UN and WHO consultations

In keeping with our commitment to share our knowledge, expertise and best practices, to help inform public health strategies, we:

  • submitted comments on “Draft Work Programme of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, 2016-2025,” the WHO draft introductory paper “Safeguarding against possible conflicts of interest in nutrition programmes,” the “draft Montevideo Roadmap 2018-2930 on NCDs as a Sustainable Development Priority;” and the WHO “Draft Thirteenth General Programme of Work;” and
  • participated in the following events and consultations:

Rome: In May, in an event organized by the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) Open-Ended Working Group on Nutrition in partnership with UNSCN on “Investments for Healthy Food Systems.”

Geneva: In May, in an informal consultation convened by the WHO Department of Partnerships and Non-State Actors on the development of a handbook for non-State Actors to facilitate the implementation of FENSA.

Rome: In October, at the 44th Session of the UN Committee on World Food Security. 

Montevideo: In October, at the WHO Global Conference on NCDs.

Our Priorities 2018

In 2018, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will hold the third High-level Meeting on the prevention and control of NCDs and review global and national progress achieved since the adoption in 2011 of the UN Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (the 2011 Political Declaration) and the UNGA Outcome Document in 2014.

The 2011 Political Declaration called for a whole-of-society approach and the development of effective multisectoral actions on NCDs. It also recognized the contribution the private sector can make to these efforts and laid out a set of actions in Paragraph 44 for our industry to deliver. These are the very actions – on product formulation and innovation, nutrition information, responsible marketing and initiatives to promote healthy lifestyles – IFBA members have been working on, collectively, on a global basis since 2008.

We recognize that achieving the global NCD targets contained in the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020 is critical to attaining UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.4 by 2030 – reducing by one-third pre-mature mortality from NCDs.

Our commitments and our actions to address the global challenges of obesity, malnutrition and diet-related NCDs are inextricably linked with the SDGs. We are taking meaningful action to achieve the goals of ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, promoting more and sustainable agriculture, ensuring healthy lives and promoting good health and well- being for all.

We believe our actions and the steps we have taken confirm our on-going commitment to do our part as an industry to help address global health challenges. Our progress has been significant. Our work continues.

Our priorities for the 2018 HLM

To ensure the highest level of political commitment and participation from Heads of State and government, we recommend that the HLM be held in September, prior to the UNGA.

To ensure an inclusive and multistakeholder HLM, and in recognition of the important role the private sector plays in NCD prevention and control, we recommend that private sector input is included in the preparatory process of the HLM, including in the planning of a civil society hearing to be convened by the President of the General Assembly in the lead up to the HLM, and in the proceedings of the HLM.

We look forward to demonstrating, to Member States at the 2018 HLM, the substantial progress we have made to address NCDs against the mandate laid out for our industry in Paragraph 44 of the 2011 Political Declaration.